Camiguin vs. Langkawi – Part 1
Camiguin vs. Langkawi – two islands of similar size in two different south-east Asia countries. Philippines vs. Malysia. We’ll write about our 2 weeks experience in a series of articles.
Why compare Camiguin vs. Langkawi ?
We are living in Camiguin since 2008 and think that we know our lovely little island quiet well. In this time we also learned that there are always about 8 weeks of nasty winter weather in Camiguin. This grey and very rainy weather usually lasts either from begin of December until end of January or from end of December to end of February. Exceptions do exist.
This is why we started to escape this awfully cold weather (only 24°C on the beach) for 2 to 3 weeks. Last year we decided to discover Kuala Lumpur. But staying 2 or more weeks in a mega-city isn’t my taste. Butch might be able strolling all day through markets and shopping malls.
So we looked for an escape from the city and stumbled over some islands and some nice beaches.
We found that Langkawi has about the same size as our Camiguin, so we decided to see how another island lost in the sea had developed in another culture and under another government. Please find below a geographical overview.
Before we start: All images can be enlarged by clicking on them. The maps are courtesy of Google maps. All other photos are our own intellectual property.
The two islands
The overlap map image below allows to compare the sizes of the two islands. Langkawi is a bit larger, but the extreme western part of Langkawi is not accessible because of private property. The northwestern part is Mangrove swamp and only accessible with authorized boats. Read more about accessibility in another part of our comparison.
Here are the two maps in separate images.
The differences started already in Cebu
Our short flight with Cebu Pacific Air had been freezing cold as usual. I am now used to wear long pants, long sleeves, shoes and socks when I fly with 5J. Anywhere in the Philippines air-condition is either not working or on full freezer temperature.
The flight with AirAsia from Cebu to Kuala Lumpur had been much more comfortable for what belongs to temperature. Unfortunately the seat-rows were about one inch nearer, so I got some problems with me knees during the 4 hours flight.
Arrival in Kuala Lumpur (KLIA-2)
On board we didn’t get any paper form to fill in – no arrival card, no health declaration form, no customs declaration form. The walk from KLIA-2, gate 20 to the arrival hall had been awfully long. We walked about 15 to minutes. But there is something we had never seen before. Anywhere in the world passengers have to go underground to reach the main terminal building from a satellite terminal. In Zurich (ZRH) there is even an underground train. Not so in KLIA-2: We were walking over the “Sky-Bridge”. Planes were passing below us. A really interesting sight.
Photo courtesy of www.klia2.info
Immigration had been a pleasure. The officer said hello, scanned our passports and our two index fingers for fingerprints. No ink with no soap and water and towels – simply two short flashes from the scanner. Customs officers do not inspect your luggage manually. They pass your checked luggage through an X-ray scanner. That’s fast and comfortable. Your hand-carry items usually aren’t inspected.
A big disadvantage is the long distance between KLIA-2 and Kuala Lumpur center. For our first ride we opted for the prepaid coupon taxis. For the 1 hour ride, about 60 kilometers, we paid MYR 150. This corresponds to PHP 1,900. The 4 lane highway was of excellent quality.
Welcome to Kuala Lumpur
That’s all for now. Tomorrow we hopefully will tell you a bit about KL and our continuation to Langkawi. Hopefully – because we do not know if we’ll have electricity and access to the Internet tomorrow. It’s more fun in … well, you know!